In this guest post, Richard, creator of Recovering Man, a website dedicated to coaching and media content to help Men live with purpose, peace and power, gives us ways to build and secure our inner peace…
While the world lures into its temptations, promising you contentment via possessions, intoxicants and experiences sold on the basis of an idealised lifestyle, many of us are learning that the external world will always fail in helping us to learn how to overcome inner demons.
Chasing after answers in the external world leads a man into a secluded, atomised lifestyle that’s interspersed with intense moments of respite, followed by an underlying and often undetected craving for true inner peace.
We spend our weeks in partitioned offices under beaming artificial light with our eyes gazing deep into screens before breaking the tension with a boozy night out or weekend away.
This keeps us shielded from an underlying existential angst, with the masks of career status, possessions, political identity and intoxicants blocking us from life’s greater meaning, or lack thereof.
Yet whether it comes in the form of sleepless nights, addictions, anxieties, despair or unmanageability, eventually the background disharmony breaks into our lives.
We may deny this for a while, but after being ground-down we seek answers to explain why we feel the way we do, and when we get an explanation of our feelings and behaviour, we build a new mask out of our pain.
This mask, though ostensibly helpful, is actually even more powerful than the prior masks we wore, as this gives our pain a new narrative that’s interwoven incredibly tightly with our very being.
This may explain our behaviour and feelings to ourselves, but it doesn’t change our fundamental feeling of disharmony inside, it just gives us another story to explain that inner disharmony.
To truly break free, we must be willing to let our identities of pain fall away so we can actually feel the turmoil within.
This can be very painful and a strong instinct may well arise to run away from the inner pain by having a drink, or by creating another mask, yet it is only by feeling the inner pain and accepting it that you can grow through it.
You can begin this process by following the 5 steps laid out below on how to overcome inner demons:
1: Learn to sit in nothingness
This is so important because silence is the place of complete purity, it is beyond any narrative you can tell yourself about how good or bad you are, it is what you are in your truest essence.
To get used to this practice, you may want to check out my video on the importance and simplicity of the silent prayer
It may take time to accept yourself in silence, especially if you’re strongly identified with your mind, but the more you work on this – even if it’s just a few minutes a day at first – the more you’ll see that you don’t NEED to analyse, explore and explain everything via your mind.
This is the beginning of inner peace.
2: Don’t reject or accept inner pain – just let it be
As outlined at the beginning, we’ll do all manner of things to escape our inner turmoil – build careers, seek validation from women, seek sex, seek intoxicants and so on we go – yet we won’t just face our pain.
Similarly, if and when we actually do we move into a process of analysing it, explaining it and creating a narrative around it.
However, try just leaving it be, letting the pain express itself without any interpretation, rejection or analysis.
This lets the inner pain show itself.
You may have to be patient, yet let whatever is inside be without question.
3: Experience pain and emotions without words
It is natural for humans to label things, it is this process which helps us navigate the world, yet we shouldn’t think our labels are synonymous with the truth.
Just because you may call a pet James, it doesn’t mean there’s anything innately James about that pet, and the same is true of your inner disharmony.
We give labels to our pain for understandable reasons, yet when seeking inner peace, we must learn to let inner turmoil express itself as what it is on its own terms.
So, in learning how to overcome our inner demons, we must seek to feel inner pain and express it without words, letting the inner confusion and pain move and process through as it must.
Want to learn more about this technique? Then check out the Recovering Man Meditation Mastery Online Course
I appreciate that this can be hard, and sometimes of your wounds are deep, very painful.
But don’t worry any more than you have to, feeling this pain is the processing of it, it is the removal of the underlying structure of disharmony in your life.
Remember, if it is too much, you can always go back to your old ways, you can try therapy, or whatever else you feel you need, but just let yourself try and process this pain, remembering that the pain is not what you are, it is a short-term experience on the path of your life and it will pass.
Letting yourself feel inner pain isn’t easy and it may be too much for you at times, but don’t worry about that, if you need to stop, just stop and try again later.
Whatever you do, don’t judge yourself for anything, just let yourself be in pure peace, it may take one session, it may take 100, but processing pain is natural when we don’t get in the way.
Further, you may feel worse for a time when you do this, yet that is just the pain coming out, remember to eat well, sleep well and be patient with yourself, knowing you’re doing something life-changing, courageous and truly amazing.
I myself have learned to sit through quite intense inner panic, and in time I found something I never knew existed – that there is another side to intense inner turmoil – and that side is one of peace, stillness and acceptance.
5: Let it all out
After you’ve learned to sit with the inner pain, you will begin to process it, adrenaline may coarse through your body, tears may come, panic may rise, laughter may explode, anger may come flowing out – do not judge yourself and do not block these emotions.
Once your time of silence acceptance is over, if you need to scream then grab a pillow and let loose, if you need to sprint that adrenaline out then grab your running shoes, if you need to shake out fear trapped in the body then do so, if you need to cry then wail.
Let whatever needs to come out, come out, don’t judge anything and let it happen.
When you feel that energy has moved on, return to sitting in stillness, return to your true self and begin to acquaint yourself with your true nature – still, unshakable inner peace.
Richard is the writer for Recovering Man which provides men’s coaching services and is a media channel offering men insight, guidance and assistance in growing through pain and difficulty into a man of purpose, peace and power.
You can find Richard’s debut Birth of Clarity article here.
You can also find Richard on Twitter.